The Department of Computer Science at the University of Cyprus cordially invites you to the PhD Defense entitled:
Optimization of Human Resource Management and Project Planning in Software Development
Speaker: Constantinos Stylianou
Software development companies are under heavy pressure to complete projects on time, within budget and with the appropriate level of quality. There are a number of reasons that can lead a software project to failure, both within and outside the control of the development company. As a result, software project managers strive to mitigate the potential risks through more effective decision-making. Software project management consists of a number of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling activities. Decisions taken in these activities are, thus, likely to influence the success of a software project. Human resources feature prominently in all of these activities and, as a consequence, play a significant role in affecting the choices made by a software project manager. Therefore, in order to help guarantee the success of a software project, it is important for project managers to take into consideration this type of resource when performing the aforementioned activities. This doctoral thesis specifically investigates human resources from a planning and staffing perspective and, in particular, focuses on the responsibilities of allocating developers and teams to project tasks, scheduling developers and teams, as well as forming development teams. Software project managers must decide who will do what and when in a software project, with the aim of minimizing or maximizing several software-related criteria. These responsibilities are often challenging to undertake because they are accompanied by time, budget and quality constraints, which software project managers find difficult to balance correctly due to their conflicting nature. Furthermore, the different information used to select developers could lead to inaccurate estimation of, for example, the duration and cost of tasks, resulting in budget over-runs, delays, or reduced software quality. This thesis provides a detail account of several proposed approaches that make use of multi-objective optimization to handle the simultaneous minimization/maximization of software-related criteria, taking into account different task characteristics and developer attributes. The approaches mainly focus on dealing with the non-interchangeable nature of human resources by including the experience levels and rate of productivity of software developers, in addition to the way developers work together depending on the type of task carried out. The approaches adopt several well-known optimization techniques, particularly variations of genetic algorithms and swarm intelligence. In addition, a leading trend in the area of human resource planning focuses on taking into account the personality types of developers when assigning them to tasks and also when grouping them into development teams. A number of studies performed have aimed to observe the effects of personality types on aspects such as performance, productivity, software quality and job satisfaction, all of which contribute towards the potential success of a project. Also, there have been attempts to determine the personality types required of different software development professionals, such as system analysts, programmers, testers, etc., in order to allocate developers to tasks better suited to their personality. The thesis, therefore, also contains several attempts that consider personality types of software developers for human resource allocation and team formation. Several real-world case studies were explored to help discuss the implications of such approaches in the software development industry. The results and observations show positive indications that using both technical and human-related developer characteristics in multi-objective optimization approach has the potential to provide software project managers with more accurate developer allocation and task scheduling solutions in a more efficient manner.
Constantinos Stylianou is a PhD student at the Department of Computer Science, University of Cyprus. He achieved his BSc in Computer Science in 2004 and his MSc in Advanced Information Technology in 2007 from the Department of Computer Science of the University of Cyprus. His research interests focus mainly in the area of software engineering and, in particular, on aspects of software project management, such as the use of computational intelligence techniques for scheduling and allocation, and human-centric factors in software development. He has worked in several EU-funded projects, including GENESIS (FP6-ICT) enterprise application interoperability-integration for SMEs, governmental organizations and intermediaries, FUPOL (FP7-ICT) intelligent tools for future policy design and modelling, and DOSSIER-Cloud (H2020-TWINNING) DevOps-based software engineering for the cloud.
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